That was the year that was.

It’s that time again. It’s the end of this year, tomorrow is the start of a new one, 365 days have passed, 365 days await, and most people will mark this by getting exceedingly drunk at great expense and having a snog at midnight before writing off tomorrow with the worst hangover of the year…and maybe they are the people getting it right.

Because tomorrow will be no different to today, 2012 no different to 2013, at least not unless we make it so. As Big Ben strikes midnight there is nothing more than a metaphorical bringing down of the curtain, shutting the door or drawing a line under whatever worries, disappointments and issues you were dealing with in 2012. There are no clean slates when we wake up in the morning, no “new you” overnight, so you may as well start the year pissed and horny I guess.

Except, well just maybe, something as simple as the changing year could be the catalyst for great change? Is it possible that when throwing an old calendar in the bin you can throw some of the you you don’t want with it? Perhaps the white blank pages of 2013 that are yet to be written could be different to 2012, if you really want them to be.

And so it is on this, the biggest night of the year for parties and pints, that I am sat soberly in quite introspective retrospection and looking ahead at who I want to be tomorrow.

I said to someone recently that after 2011 I felt I’d let things slip in 2012. It’s true that 2011 was an exceptional year including my first (and so far only) marathon and finally nailing a start in the career I wanted. It felt like in 2012 nothing was quite firing the same. This isn’t the place to be discussing work but I will say I felt stifled, I lost the self-confidence of 2011, with it the motivation and that crossed over in to my exercise. I honestly thought this morning that I hadn’t done enough this year to warrant writing about it…and then I looked through my race numbers and medals and realised that actually I’ve a lot to be proud of and grateful for!

Not a bad haul.

Not a bad haul.

I’m not going to list all the things I’ve done, that would be more egotistical than even I am comfortable with, but I definitely want to pick out some of the highlights…

(clicking links will take you to relevant blog posts should you want to know more about my experiences)

  • Starting the year feeling fit! Sounds silly, but it was nice to start 2012 knowing I could run a 10k or spend a few hours on the bike. So I did lots of both in the first few months of the year! Spent my birthday riding in Wales followed by climbing Snowdon, which is perfect.
  • Bikefest in June was my first real big test of the year. Riding solo for 12 hours is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, physically and mentally. It was this year’s marathon and an incredible experience. Very pleased with my 12 laps. Also really enjoyed my first Mud Runner experience, so much I ran it twice in 2 days!
  • The Fan Dance Challenge in September was an incredible experience, one I will never forget. It was marred by injury but the fact that I ran through the pain to beat the clock is something I will remember whenever the going gets tough.
  • For 3 wonderful weeks in October I lived the kind of challenge life I wish I could manage all year! Over three consecutive weekends I ran the Bristol half marathon, Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest and did my first duathlon, the Runrider in Bristol. I wish I could afford to keep that pace up all year!
  • I managed to get a few trips to the mountains in there too. The birthday trip, a few days in the Brecons, the Lakes, exploring new mountains in the last few weeks of 2012 and finding new friends to go climbing with. One of the best days was taking a vertiginous mountain virgin up Snowdon for the first (and last!) time. Love taking people for their first mountain experiences!

And so, after a heartwarming look back on 12 months of endeavour and achievement, thoughts turn towards 2013 and new challenges. I haven’t decided what those might be yet (apart from Silverstone half in March) and I’m still working on my resolutions (more on that in a few days I’m sure) but one thing I do know is I will definitely be starting my 2013 with a run and not a hangover, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Happy new year.

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